Disclaimer: This is a shameless cross-post to several forums, but since my original post generated a lot of very interesting discussion with lots of good stories and valuable comments from other musicians, I thought I'd just go ahead and post it here as well:
I'd like to share this little list of things I learned in the six months following the release of my band's debut album.
When you release an album, you will realize that...
1. ... relying on online acquaintances to help promote your music (e.g., by writing reviews if they like it) is mostly futile. This can even harm your however loose relationship with people when they disappoint you for no good reason.
2. ... on the other hand, sometimes perfect strangers can become untiring champions of your music which feels just great.
3. ... some magazines and review pages can't even be bothered to reply to a promo offer via e-mail. Makes you really want to send them a CD just like that, eh?
4. ... a large part of many reviews is just a slightly re-phrased version of your official band biography. So better make sure it's well-written.
5. ... a surprising percentage of positive (!) reviews doesn't include a single nicely quotable sentence.
6. ... even when your guest star is very obviously featured on your entire album, some "professionals" will still write that he "guests on a couple of tracks".
7. ... you were clearly influenced by <insert band you've never heard in your life>.
8. ... some people buy your album (thanks!) but then share their download link with all their friends (WTF?!). It's one form of "support", I guess...
9. ... quite a few of your online acquaintances don't legally obtain music at all (they might make an exception for their favorite band).
10. ... you shouldn't expect people to stick to public announcements like "I will buy this ASAP", especially coming from other musicians.
To be continued...